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Credit union-backed candidates prevail in Super Tuesday races

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Along with the presidential primaries, Super Tuesday also marked 2020’s first congressional elections, with voting taking place across five states.

A total of 96 industry-backed candidates for the House and Senate were on the ballot in Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina and Texas, and 94 of those successfully advanced, according to the Credit Union National Association. Two final races have yet to be called.

CUNA, state credit union leagues and the Credit Union Legislative Action Committee have pledged to spend a record $7 million supporting congressional candidates in 2020 races. Those groups fund candidates regardless of the party, though campaign finance data shows the industry has leaned Republican in all but a few elections in recent decades. And even if candidates succeed, credit unions are increasingly finding themselves asking that campaign contributions be returned — and not always successfully.

One of the most high-profile races Tuesday involved U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, a legislator with a history of supporting the industry who was facing a primary challenge. Also in Texas, Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar prevailed over a primary challenger, while Gina Ortiz Jones, D-Texas, came through a five-way Demcratic primary in the race to take on retiring Republican Will Hurd.

In North Carolina, where redistricting led to several open seats, Democratic State Rep. Deborah Ross won in a four-candidate primary race for the seat currently held by retiring Rep. George Holding, a Republican.

California Assemblywoman Christy Smith, a Democrat, is currently leading in two races that have not yet been called. She is running in a primary to serve the remainder of former Rep. Katie Hill’s term, following her resignation in November, as well as in a primary for that seat’s full-term. A vote for the full-term seat will take place in November.

For a look where Super Tuesday’s presidential candidates stand on financial services issues, click here.

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